Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Perfect Pours for the Holiday

Wondering what wine to put on the table for the Thanksgiving meal? If your criteria goes beyond what’s cheapest at the grocery store, then you might want to consider signing up for the crash course at Table 45, November 11th or 12th. Your wine pairing teacher will be sommelier Todd Thompson. But this lesson requires a fork, knife, and glass- eight of them to be precise- and note taking is optional. The restaurant’s chef Tom Schrenk is preparing tasting portions of holiday favorites, with a twist of course, to partner with Thompson’s selections. Dinner- I mean class- begins at 6:30. Space is limited and reservations are required, 216-707-4045. The cost is $40 per person plus tax and gratuity and valet parking is complementary. Table 45 is located inside the Intercontinental Hotel on Carnegie Avenue on the Cleveland Clinic campus.

If you and your guests are more inclined to sip suds than rely on Randy Mosher to steer you in the right direction. He’s a nationally recognized craft brew expert based in Chicago and author of a newish book called Tasting Beer. I’ve interviewed Mosher and the depth and breadth of his knowledge is impressive. So I was excited to get word that he’s put together an online list of beers that pair well with turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, providing detailed descriptions of what’s in each bottle. Instead of choosing just one or two, Mosher suggests setting up a little brew buffet so people can do some beverage grazing. The guy has a sense of humor, and though I have a high regard for his advice, the best bit of wisdom he offers in my opinion is this: “With the right beer, Cousin Eddy won't care that he's still sitting at the kids' table even though he's on his third wife.”

If you want to belly up to a hoppy smorgasbord a day early, then head to Touche, the lounge at Chez Francois in Vermillion, on Wednesday November 24. They’re hosting a sampling of holiday ales from around the country, Belgium and England called The 12 Beers of Christmas. $35 gets you 2 ounce pours of everything plus appetizers. Reservations required 440.967.0630

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